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Fang-Ping Huang

Department of Pathology,
Immunology Division, Room 216
Tel. 2855 4864
The immune system - an overview (basic concepts, features)

Developmental biology of the immune system (Dr. L. Lu)
Recent advances in lymphocyte lineage commitment (Dr. L. Lu)
Apoptosis & the molecular cell death pathways (Dr. L. Lu)

Antigen recognition by T cells & its MHC restrictions
Pathways of antigen processing, presentation & co-stimulations
Dendritic cells & the initiation of immune responses

Immune regulation & dys-regulation in health & in diseases
Essence and Advances in Contemporary Immunobiology
Basic concepts in immunology
Vaccination & the history of immunology
Types of immunity
The adaptive immune system
Immunological specificity & memory
B cells & humoral immune response
T cells & cell-mediated immune response
The concepts of self/non-self & self-tolerance
The immune system
an overview
Basic concepts in Immunology

Organisms and microorganisms
Bacteria, viruses, fungi & parasites
Infections and diseases
Infection == disease

Mechanisms of defense
The immune system
Cells & soluble factors
Immunity and Immunology
Original meaning:
exemption from taxes

Other extended meaning:
diplomatic immunity

In the context of Immunology:
collective mechanisms against diseases
Edward Jenner
The Discovery of
Vaccination (1796)

Vaccinia (cowpox)
human smallpox
Eradication of smallpox (1979, WHO)
A process of induction of immunity to a pathogen by
deliberate injection of a weaken, modified or related form of
the pathogen which is no longer pathogenic.
Other historic events & important findings:
L. Pasteur (1880s)
Vaccines against cholera, and rabies
R. Kock (late 19
Infections caused by microorganisms
P. Ehrlich et al. (1890s)
Serum factors transfer of immunity
Behring & Kitasato (1890s)
Antibodies in serum bound to pathogens
Porter & Edelman (1960s)
Antibody structure
J. Gowans (1960s)
Immunological importance of lymphocytes
Size of the immune system?
Dendritic cell
Lymph Node
The bursa of Fabricius in birds
Cells, tissues and organs of
the immune system
Immune cells are bone marrow-derived, & distributed through out
the body

Primary lymphoid organs:
Thymus: T cell maturation
Bone marrow (bursa of Fabricius in birds): B cell maturation

Secondary lymphoid organs:
Lymph nodes
Mucosal lymphoid tissues (lung, gut)

How may vaccines protect us from infections?

What may actually occur in our immune system
following a vaccination?
Types of immunity
Innate (natural) immunity
Phagocytes etc.
Early, rapid responses, but limited & non-specifc

Adaptive (acquired) immunity
Lymphocytes (B & T cells)
Take time but powerful - specificity + memory

Measles attacks & immunological memory
Memory in adaptive immunity
infection memory 2
slow response fast response

pathogen proliferate pathogen killed
disease no disease
symptoms no symptom

Memory & specificity key features of the adaptive immunity
Immunological memory & vaccination
Natural infections:

memory 2
slow response fast response
pathogens multiply pathogens disposed
Symptoms/disease no disease

Vaccination memory nature infections
no disease fast response
pathogens disposed
no disease
Vaccination protects us from infection by
inducing the adaptive immune response, but
bypassing the need for a primary infection
Theoretical basis for immunological
specificity and memory
Theory of Clonal Selection
Establishment of lymphocyte memory pool
1 2
4 3
Ehrlichs Side-chain Hypothesis
Burnets Clonal Selection Theory
Each lymphocyte produces one type of Ag receptors only, antigen selects and
stimulates cells carrying receptors specific for the antigen
1 n 2
2 2 2
2 2
s s s s s s s s
s s s s s s s s
s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s
s s s s s s s s
Immunological memory
The ability of the immune system to respond more
rapidly and effectively to specific pathogens that have
been encountered previously.

Reflection of the pre-existence of a clonally expanded
population (pool) of antigen specific lymphocytes.
Humoral immune responses
B cells and antibodies

Cell mediated immune responses
Cytotoxic T cell (Tc)
Helper T cells (TH)
The adaptive immune mechanisms
The Immune Recognition Molecules
of the Adaptive Immune System

1. Immunoglobulin (Ig)
- B Cell Receptor (BCR)
- Antibody (Ab)

2. T Cell Receptor (TCR)

3. Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC)

B Cells
work chiefly by secreting
soluble substances known
as antibodies (Ab)
Ab basic structure
Ab V and C regions
Neutralization: e.g. toxins, viruses

Opsonization: bind pathogens for
recognition by other immune cells
(e.g. phagocytes)
Antibody functions
TH cells play a central role in the immune system
T cells in HIV infection
Immunological tolerance

A state of unresponsiveness to a particular Ag - Ag specific

to Ags derived from bodys own tissues/cells - self tolerance
to pathogen-derived/foreign Ags
The concepts of
immunological self & non-self
Immune system does not attack self tissues or cells
under normal condition, but how?

Central tolerance thymic education

Peripheral tolerance failed-safe mechanisms
Early in life (foetal stage)

T cells are important, which develop in the thymus

TCR specificities: randomly generated many auto-reactive

T cells recognize self components (Ag) in the thymus removed

Non-self reactive cells selected, matured & exported
Central tolerance
thymic education
Post-thymic continuing education
not all self Ags present in the thymus
some auto-reactive cells can escape

Inactivation (anergy)
Peripheral tolerance
Does the immune system mount responses
simply to anything that is non-self?
A question for thoughts:
Innate (natural)
Adaptive (acquired)

Humoral (B cells, Abs)
Cellular (T, NK, MQ)

The adaptive immunity:
Key features: specificity & memory
Types: humoral & cell-mediated responses
Key players: T & B lymphocytes
cells play a central role in the induction & maintenance of immune responses

Principle of vaccination:
Vaccination protects us from infection by inducing protective immunity, through
establishment of specific immunological memory but bypassing the need for
primary infection

Immunological tolerance:
Tolerance induction is Ag specific
Central & peripheral mechanisms